Standing Room Only [MultiFormat]
Click on image to enlarge.
eBook by Megan Colombo
eBook Category: Young Adult
eBook Description: Natalie, newly injured and in a wheelchair, learns to live again.
eBook Publisher: Wings ePress, Inc., Published: 2011, 2011
Fictionwise Release Date: April 2011
* * * *
* * * *
Icy wind gushed in the open windows, throwing my hair wildly around my face. Despite the chill of the wind, today I had actually been able to go outside and not feel everywhere my skin remained exposed immediately ice over, which should call for a Queenston town holiday. Shouldn't the first warmish day after a long winter be celebrated among all mortals? I thought that it called for parades, streamers and sales at the mall. We just had to wait for all the snow and ice to melt, and we'd be on our way to another warmer season.
Despite that, I still had school tomorrow. I still had to sit through math class, during which I still would make a joyous mockery of my teacher's hairstyle with my friends. Seriously, was she high every morning when she styled her hair into that tangled mess of a beehive?
"Hey, Mom, knock-knock."
She groaned loudly, and grudgingly muttered, "Who's there?"
Another groan. "Harry who?"
I laughed even before I got to the punch line. "Harry up and open the door!"
She giggled, before announcing, "If you keep telling bad jokes, I'll open your door and push you out."
"Tuck and roll, baby." We laughed together, the sound flittering out the open windows.
We were switching lanes on the highway when we hit the ice. The second the tires lost grip on the road, the back end started to go one way, while the front tried to keep going straight. I stared out the windshield, stunned into immobility as our front tires lost grip with a violent jerk, and we slammed to the right. Through the corner of my eye, I saw the guardrail coming directly at my door. The second before we made impact, I fell into a deep blackness.
I woke from my nightmare, my hands flying up to my face in some strange reflex. I had been having the same nightmare for a week, and it was getting a little old. It was only when I tried to move my legs that I remembered it was no nightmare. No, it was plain, cruel reality.
That warmish March day was nothing to celebrate, unless you celebrate the days on which you become paralyzed from your waist down. I know for sure I wasn't looking back fondly on March 25th. Well, not that I remembered much of it. I wasn't conscious during our car's impact with the guardrail. I had only seen the aftermath, along with a robotic sounding newswoman who was reporting "at the scene of the crash." I got the whole deal on the news, the police and witnesses all taking their stab at explaining our disaster. Calling it "the accident" sounds unnecessarily dramatic, like it's the monster hiding in the closet.
Taking in a deep breath, I let it out in a long exhale. It was the start of another long day. Just another fourteen hours or so, and I could be asleep again. Maybe if I lay still enough, my mother would forget I was here and let me spend my fourteen hours right here in my bed.
I heard her before she started speaking. My mom's bare feet padded across the floor, before she chirped that she wanted to go out for coffee.
"I don't even drink coffee," I moaned, throwing an arm over my eyes.
"Well, you should start," she said brightly, before she came to darken my doorway. I looked at her from under my arm and tried to bargain with her.
"Yeah, but I still have drama homework to send to the school. Do you want me to fail, then have to drop out of school out of embarrassment and work at McDonald's for the rest of my life?"
She rolled her eyes. "Natalie, you have a whole day to write one monologue. I think you'll manage. Up." She flitted into the kitchen, leaving me before I had a chance to argue.